Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

Serve the stuffed peppers.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 28 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Natural Release: 5 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Stuffed bell peppers have long been considered American comfort food. These Instant Pot stuffed peppers are ready in fewer than 45 minutes, making them a dish you can enjoy even on the busiest of days. Serve these stuffed peppers with a fresh salad and garlic bread

There's no pre-cooking required in this quick and easy pressure cooker version, so it's best to use lean or extra-lean ground beef. You can partially cook the ground beef and drain it if you like—just let the mixture cool slightly before you combine it with the egg and the remaining ingredients.

The cooking and natural release times total about 13 minutes, and you will need to plan on an additional 10 to 12 minutes for pressure buildup.


  • 5 bell peppers (medium, or 4 large)
  • 1 pound ground beef (90/10 or leaner)
  • 1/2 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 plum tomato (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (or marinara sauce, divided use)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese (sliced or shredded)
  • Optional garnish: chopped parsley or thinly sliced fresh basil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot stuffed peppers.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Slice the tops off the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and carefully scrape out the white veins. Chop some of the tops for the filling.

    Prepare the bell peppers.
    Diana Rattray
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the cooked rice, chopped pepper tops, onion, minced garlic, diced tomato, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce, the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, salt, basil, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Mix the ingredients until well blended. Stuff the pepper shells with the mixture.

  4. Add 2/3 cup of water to the Instant Pot and place a trivet (with handles) or baking sling in the pot. Arrange the stuffed peppers on the trivet and pour the remaining tomato sauce over them.

    Instant Pot stuffed peppers ready to cook.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Lock the lid in place and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the pressure cook or manual function (high pressure) and set the time to 8 minutes.

    Instant Pot steam valve in the sealing position.
    Diana Rattray
  6. When the time is up, wait for 5 minutes and then turn the steam release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.

    Steam release valve in the venting position.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Top each of the peppers with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and place the lid back on for a minute or two, or just long enough to melt the cheese.

    Instant Pot stuffed bell peppers.
    Diana Rattray
  8. Remove the peppers and trivet and set aside. Choose the sauté function and simmer the liquids for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve the peppers with the reduced sauce and garnish with thinly sliced basil leaves or chopped fresh parsley.

    Stuffed pepper on a plate.
    Diana Rattray
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • For a lighter alternative, make the stuffed peppers with ground turkey.
  • Lower the carb count by using cauliflower "rice" in the meat mixture and omit the breadcrumbs.